The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has recommended the use of AbbVie’s foslevodopa–foscarbidopa (Produodopa) for the treatment of individuals with advanced Parkinson’s disease.

The new treatment is approved for UK National Health Service (NHS) use and will benefit around 900 adult patients.

The treatment is delivered using an infusion pump that provides the drug over the course of 24 hours. 

The compact and portable device can be refilled in the at-home setting and aids patients in managing their symptoms.

This pump releases foslevodopa and foscarbidopa into the body. Foslevodopa is converted to the chemical dopamine that is used in transferring messages between the brain and nerves controlling movement. 

Foscarbidopa will help boost foslevodopa’s availability in the brain.

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Conventional treatment for Parkinson’s in the initial stage comprises oral doses of levodopa and carbidopa, but with disease progression, patients may require other therapies.

Non-oral therapies such as apomorphine injection, deep brain stimulation via surgical procedure or levodopa–carbidopa intestinal gel can also be used.

Foslevodopa–foscarbidopa can be used in individuals who are unable to receive apomorphine or deep brain stimulation surgery, or when these therapies are not effective in managing symptoms. 

The new option is deemed as a substitute for conventional oral treatment and levodopa–carbidopa intestinal gel.

NICE medicines evaluation director Helen Knight stated: “Foslevodopa–foscarbidopa represents an important new treatment for people with advanced Parkinson’s, providing an easy-to-use option that can help them manage their symptoms more reliably and effectively.

“This is the first time NICE has approved a treatment for Parkinson’s and comes after NICE was able to work with the company to address the issues that had initially prevented a positive recommendation.”